• Report: #1099932

Complaint Review: Family Roots – Military Achievements | Ripoff Report Verified™ …businesses you can trust. Family Roots works with U.S. military personnel & families for over 20 years in Germany, Italy, Bosnia, Kosova, Kuwait, Japan, Korea, Hawaii, Iraq, Afghanistan, featuring U.S. Family Roots founded in 1990, … "family" of over 40 staff across headquarters in Kentucky, Dublin Ireland.

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  • Submitted: Sat, November 16, 2013
  • Updated: Wed, October 08, 2014

  • Reported By: AndyFish — Cincinnati Ohio
Family Roots
4211 Produce Rd Louisville, Kentucky USA

Family Roots - Military Achievements REVIEW: Family Roots dedicated to total customer satisfaction. Family Roots – Military Achievement's past & current approach to business focused on providing highest quality customer satisfaction, product, & service.
*UPDATE: Family Roots pledges commitment to Ripoff Report Corporate Advocacy, Business Remediation and Customer Satisfaction Program. A program that benefits consumers, assures them of complete satisfaction and confidence when doing business with a member business. Family Roots recognized by Ripoff Report Verified™ as a safe business service.

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Ripoff Report Verified™ REVIEW:

EDitor’s UPDATE: Positive rating and recognition has been given to Family Roots for its commitment to being the number one company in the market, as it continues to go beyond customer expectations with superior products and service.

Ripoff Report’s discussions with Family Roots has uncovered an ongoing commitment by the company to total client satisfaction. This means that clients can expect that the company will work towards finding a mutually satisfactory resolution to any complaints or concerns. Family Roots listens carefully to client concerns and sees them as an opportunity to learn from past mistakes and become more efficient as a company in the services offered and the support for those services.

Family Root’s Owner, has informed us that his personal philosophy is that his customers are a precious resource. [continued below]....
..... Family Roots management team understand that to be successful it is essential to listen to what the customers are saying and then translate this information, not only into a product but also a philosophy of how to provide a service.

Another top executive of the company, told us that they have introduced the new ethos that affirms, “the customer comes first, last, and always”. This business philosophy shows a complete understanding that in their unique market if they put the customer first, the company will continue to succeed and grow. Family Roots are true believers that each happy customer will tell many of the service they received and this will in turn bring about more business and growth. Family Root's mission statement says it all: "100% Satisfaction Guaranteed ” One of the other things Ripoff Report learned in the course of its investigation is that typical customer feedback reads: “Family Roots care about more than the sale, they want to keep the customer happy long after they receive their products." "We are very pleased with the responsiveness that he and his employees show us. They are serious about meeting commitments, and deliver on all their promises.”

The information provided in this report below is based on comments made by Willa during an on-site inspection held by a third party verification company with no biases toward Family Roots/Military Achievements.
Family Roots is Ripoff Report Verified
Ripoff Report Verified™ .. part of Ripoff Report Corporate Advocacy Business Remediation & Customer Satisfaction Program.A program that benefits the consumer, assures them of complete satisfaction and confidence when doing business with a member business..

Family Roots/Military Achievements is a company specializing in providing bespoke coats of arms and family crest products, including swords, shield and family embroidered patches for families and soldiers. “We display the family coat of arms and our goal is to have all customers display their family heritage proudly,” explains Willa, a representative of the company. To acquire leads, Willa explains that the company has contacts all over the world, including displays showing what services and products they offer on military bases. “We have a contract with that business. We set up kiosks so the customer orders from that location,” she explains. The sales/service process begins with the team at Family Roots showing the customer several different items that are available to purchase, and Family Roots can customize their products to cater to everyone’s individual needs or wants.

FR1

Family Roots Inc. Customer Care & Complaint Resolution

At times, a customer may not feel satisfied with the product or services they received. Willa explains that one particular instance she can recall is that when they have to ship to an APO or FPO address, which is overseas, they cannot track the package and the packages take longer to be delivered. They give their customers a time frame estimate of 6-8 weeks, but for APO and FPO addresses, they cannot guarantee when the package will be delivered. To resolve the issues, Willa states, “I always try and make the customer happy and we do have contracts that we have to abide by. In cases where we have complaints, I will personally get involved to make sure the customer is happy. I will try and satisfy them and give them the best customer service possible.” In this particular instance, Willa states that she contacted the unhappy customer and explained what happened, in addition to sending some extra products to them. “The customer said they understood and was happy and I did not even have to give them a refund,” she states. Once an issue is resolved, Willa and her team follow up with an e-mail to the customer to let them know that if they need anything else, they just need to contact Family Roots and it will be taken care of.

To ensure they can resolve any issues that arise, Willa states “Anytime a customer has a complaint, the first thing we do is to go to our web site and see what has been ordered to make sure we gave them the correct order. We even ask for a picture of the item so we can compare it. If there is an error, then we would send them a pre-paid shipping label so that the customer can return the item so we can fix it or if they are not happy, we would just refund their money.” Family Roots/Military Achievements also has quality control steps in place to ensure that the product is made correctly the first time, such as confirming the spelling of a name, correct dates or ages. Since receiving complaints on Ripoff Report, the team at Family Roots has taken extra steps to make sure they respond to any customer service e-mails quickly. They have also changed the Quality Control department, so they are double checking any quality issues that may arise.

In response complaints or claims made against the company on Ripoff Report, Willa states, “Our main focus we are trying to achieve is that the customer is satisfied and happy and to have pride with their family heritage. We want to send them something they would proudly display at their family reunions and private events.” Willa and her team also recognize the value of working with Ripoff Report and the Corporate Advocacy Business Remediation and Customer Satisfaction Program, and the platform it provides for businesses and clients to interact and resolve issues. “It is very important that we are not getting bad reviews and have a company in place to get the truth out because we do not want any bad reviews or bad word of mouth to hurt the business,” explains Willa.

Family Roots Inc. / Statements from the owner

"Family Root’s is truly a family in every sense, we are committed to our employees as much as we are committed to our customers. We strive to connect with our customers and meet all their expectations. In this challenge, I look to succeed in not only reaching my customers expectations but exceeding them. I feel this is what customers truly remember.

Family Roots, Inc. are committed to providing customers with excellent products and unmatched customer service. We have dedicated Customer Service Personnel, who have a world of experience in dealing with customer situations. My Customer Service Team, see each day as a new challenge and in this business every day brings something new. I am proud to see the lengths the team go to, to make things right so that a customer goes away satisfied that the company he is dealing with cares about his situation.

Family Roots, Inc. is committed to providing its customers with the best products available:

Our Quality European Style Swords can be custom engraved free for customers to bring added value and enhance a customer’s personal taste.

Our Shields are customised in our own plant in Kentucky, with a range of designs for country of origin, country flags, coats of arms, military achievement logos.

Our embroideries and banners are all hand crafted, to the highest quality.

Our custom made heraldic and military rings are custom made in the USA and Europe.

Family Roots also takes feedback from its employees as well. “Our employees are the reason we have been successful and have had the longevity of 30 years in the business” Employee feedback and surveys reveal comments such as this: "Family Roots is a fun place to work, where there is always opportunity and diversity. If your want to move up in the company, you just have to work hard”” “Every day at Family Roots brings something new and at the end of the day there is always a sense of satisfaction in a job well done.”

FR2

John has worked for Family Roots for 8 years and states, “The best thing about Family Roots in the comradeship that exists, every day is fun. The whole sales team like to work hard, and play hard” If you show that you care, you have the opportunity to move up. I hope to be here for many more years.”

David has been with the company 4 years, “I can’t believe how much I’ve learned working with the company. So many different personalities, all with different strengths but everyone with the same objective and that’s our customers, they are first, last and always.”

FR3

STATED IMPROVEMENTS FROM FAMILY ROOTS INC.

Family Roots, Inc. understands complaints posted on Ripoff Report (whether true or not) are issues that need to be given attention and not ignored. True complaints are a great way for the company to learn how to improve and take corrective actions so there is no repeat of the issue. Once an issue is taken care of correctly, it’s the customers who will tell the story. A story of how the company put its hands up and made every effort to make things right. If handled correctly, complaints can be valuable learning opportunities. With the feedback generated by Ripoff Report’s review Family Roots has made organizational changes, by employing additional customer service staff. This allows a more comprehensive approach to problem resolution and a commitment to a great customer experience. We are always looking to improve and if we’re not improving we’re not doing the job right.

In summary, after our review, Ripoff Report is convinced that Family Roots is committed to quality delivery of services resulting in total client satisfaction.

Read more about why consumers should feel confident when doing business with a member of Ripoff Report's Corporate Advocacy Business Remediation & Customer Satisfaction Program. Yes, it’s a long name for a program that does a lot for both consumers and businesses alike.

Read about Ripoff Report Corporate Advocacy Business Remediation & Customer Satisfaction Program, a program that benefits the consumer, assures them of complete satisfaction and confidence when doing business with a member business. this program works.

As a matter of policy, when a business becomes a member of the Corporate Advocacy Program they agree to allow Ripoff Report to contact every client who filed a complaint so they can make things right with them. In order to confirm that the complaints were resolved, Ripoff Report is copied on all responses so we can insure that the member business did right by their customer.

NOW TO THE ORIGINAL REPORT THAT WAS FILED

--------------------------------

Family Roots Takes Advantage of United States Military Personnel with Deceptive Bait-and-switch Louisville Kentucky

Family Roots is a company that makes products like rings and other heirlooms featuring family crests and symbols. Their target market is military personnel, their products are low quality, and they use deceptive advertising techniques.

My own story began in August 2012. I am a reservist in the United States Marine Corps, and I was finishing infantry training in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. A salesperson from Family Roots had set up a stand outside a general store on base. He showed me a book with pictures of products. He offered me a package that includes a sword, a banner with my family's crest, and a plaque that would tell the history of my family. He claimed that historians in the company would spend several months researching my family history. He told me that the sword would be made exactly like they were in medievel times, and also in the specific style of my country of origin (Germany in my case), and that it would be unique.  So I asked him if that meant it would have a full tang, a wooden handle, and have a blade made out of carbon steel. He said yes to all of those questions, and even said that the blade would have my surname engraved on the blade. He said that the package cost $1600 but that military would receive a 50% discount. At the time, I had no idea that Family Roots only actively marketed to military personnel, so I had no idea that the $1600 value was actually a mark-up value. The salesperson also told me that the discount also only applied while on a military base, and so I felt pressured to buy it then because I live in an ordinary civilian town and not on a military base.

So I signed up for a payment for the sword. But the payment worked very oddly. It deducted $50 dollars from my bank account twice a month. But the sword was not to be manufactured until after I finished the payments.

While I was still making payments, I researched the company online. I found out that it only targeted military personnel, the products were all of a low quality, and rarely fit the salesperson's description. I called the help-line to cancel, but was told that cancellations can only be made within the first 40 days after signing up for the product (not receiving it), and that the cancellation had to be done in writing. My only other option at that point was to stop paying Family Roots, but not get back any of the payments that I had already made. Since I was more than halfway done making the payments, I figured that I might as well keep making the payments and get the final product.

In May of 2013, the package finally arrived. It did not meet the description at all. The blade of the sword was made out of stainless steel, not carbon steel. The promised engraving of my name was nowhere to be seen. It was made nothing like medievel swords, which had a full-tanged blade with a wooden handle around it. The entire thing was made of metal, and in place of a tang, a rod extended from the blade and screwed into the fuller (bottom of the handle) which kept the hilt (the actual handle) fastened in place. I have another sword like this, and it cost only $70, with about equal quality. And there were parts on the hilt, certain figures of dragon-like creatures, that were painted with a golden paint that sort of seeped onto the rest of the hilt a little bit and looked cheaply done. In the middle ages, swords would be gilded, but not painted on like that. The worst part about it is, I found a picture of the exact same sword on the company website. So it was not even unique like the salesperson said. It was mass-produced.

The banner wasn't bad, it actually resembled the Fisher family crest that I have seen elsewhere, but it was still made out of cheap felt.

But the plaque was terrible. It was just a sheet of paper with some pretty graphics and a description of the earliest Fishers in Germany. But it had nothing to do with my close relatives. It was just general information that would have been put on the plaque of anyone else with the surname "Fisher". Practically all the info could be found with a quick search on Google. This did not seem like the work of historians pouring over records for months.

I called the help-line again. I told them about the discrepancies between the description and the actual product. They said that the blade did not contain the engraving because they stopped offering that feature before I finished making the payments, even though it mentioned the engraving on my receipt. They said that even though the salesperson lied to me about the product being carbon steel, I should be thankful because the blade was made out of the "finest quality Toledo stainless" steel. When I demanded my money back, they kept saying that my time to have done that was the first 40 days after signing up to get the sword. I explained that it's not a matter of me changing my mind on whether I wanted the product or not, the product was simply nothing like its description. They did not seem to care, and basically told me that I would have to deal with it.

I then spent the month of June doing training in California and then got busy with school, work, and my weekend training and gave up on getting my money back. Then someone told me about things like ripoffreport.com or the BBB and so that is why I am reporting this now. Family Roots is a despicable company that sells products for nearly ten times their worth to military personnel, many of whom are young, naive, and too busy to look into things like this. They need to have their policies reviewed, especially the one about not being able to return an unsatisfactory product because it can't be seen or touched until the cancellation period is already expired.

I have already reported this to the BBB, but if that doesn't get me anywhere hopefully this does.


This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 11/16/2013 02:10 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Family-Roots/Louisville-Kentucky-40218/Family-Roots-Takes-Advantage-of-United-States-Military-Personnel-with-Deceptive-Bait-and--1099932. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 UPDATE Employee

Resolution

AUTHOR: Family Roots Customer Care - ()

Dear Valued Customer,

Your order was brought to me by one of our call center staff when you called on the 18th of Nov.  We greatly apologize for your experience. 

The sales rep you worked with in Camp Lejeune is no longer with us and was in fact only with us for a few months. We quickly terminated his employment after receiving these types of complaints.   Family Roots regrets you ever had any contact with this individual.

Family Roots does not condone misleading customers. We want every customer to receive exactly what they order and provide a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee.

On my authority, the customer service rep you spoke with yesterday offered a full refund on your sword. As I understood it you were satisfied with the banner and would like to keep it.  The Family Roots shipping department has recently sent a UPS return label to your email . Once we receive the sword and inspect it , we will process your refund immediately.

I hope you find this agreement to be suitable. Again, we ask you accept our deepest apologies.

Sincerely,

Family Roots

Customer Care 

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#2 Author of original report

Finally some sense.

AUTHOR: AndyFish - ()

A few days after making this complaint, I said "screw it, why not?" and decided to try the Family Roots helpline yet again. This time, the employee (whose name was Andrew) was incredibly helpful. Since the swords are no longer engraved, he said that they are no longer considered a customized item and that I could return that portion of my order and recieve a $650 refund. I am not getting the full $850-900 that I paid but I am keeping the banner and the plaque since they are customized items. I am still critical of the company's business model, but I am glad to have ran into someone with some sense who was willing to cooperate with me, unlike the last time I called and had someone tell me something along the lines of "You're stuck with your product, I don't know what to tell you."

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